Kyklops hosts LACUNA signing party for Erin Hosfield

Author and tattoo artists Erin Hosfield held a signing party at Kyklops Tattoo studio in Pittsburgh yesterday. Watch the video below for highlights or click the link.

https://bit.ly/LacunaSigning

[I’m jealous of the accompanying spread of delicious treats, especially the fruit! – Peter]

Fellow of the Royal Society writes SF novel exploring weird physics

Professor Ian Stewart, renowned mathematician and author, writes an ‘inventive’ ‘high concept’ science fiction adventure to speculate on ideas at the edge of known physics.

DARTFORD, KENT – 21 July 2023 – Elsewhen Press is a publishing house specialising in high quality, entertaining and thoughtful speculative fiction from talented authors. One of those authors is Professor Ian Stewart, a Fellow of the Royal Society, globally recognised award-winning mathematician, and celebrated author of text books and popular science books including The Science of Discworld. But while science books, even pop-science, can make mainstream science entertaining as well as informative, even renowned scientists relish the possibility to explore intriguing but less well-established aspects that push the scientific boundaries. The relative freedom of science fiction provides an ideal medium for such speculation and Ian Stewart’s latest novel, Loophole, seizes that opportunity to explore concepts on the edge of known physics while keeping within the bounds of probability: faster-than-light travel, wormhole-linked black-holes, alternative universes. At the same time, he tells a gripping adventure story of universe-shattering proportions.

Multiple award-winning hard-science-fiction author Stephen Baxter says of Loophole, “When universes collide … A multicosmos at war in a scenario of staggering, but scientifically authentic, invention … As if the Marvel multiverse collided with 2001: A Space Odyssey … I am awed, and I don’t awe easily. The highest of high-concept SF.”

Henry Gee, Senior Editor at Nature, and author of A (Very) Short History of Life on Earth and The Sigil trilogy, says, “There’s Hard SF. There’s Wide-Screen Baroque. Now with Ian Stewart’s Loophole we have Wrap-Around Rococo. Daringly inventive, Loophole is a mind-fryingly, Möbius-twistingly intense SF adventure of the first order.”

Peter Buck, Editorial Director at Elsewhen Press, says “We were chatting to Ian at a science fiction convention and he told us about the novel he had recently finished writing. We were intrigued by the concept and told him how much we were looking forward to reading it. So you can imagine how delighted we were when Ian submitted it to us for consideration. Once we had read it, there was absolutely no doubt that we wanted to publish such an awesome book. We are thrilled that Loophole is now available for readers. Initial comments from Stephen Baxter and Henry Gee were very gratifying and will undoubtedly reflect the response of readers everywhere for this ‘daringly inventive’ ‘high concept science fiction’ adventure.”

Writing the story was an adventure in itself, says Ian Stewart: “I wanted to write the kind of book I like to read: high-concept space opera. The central gimmick had been rattling around in my head for years. There was a plan, of sorts, on the computer, but I had to write the novel to find out what really happened. Once I started on the details, my characters took over and it ended up quite different from what I’d expected. … Which was what I’d expected.”

Elsewhen Press commissioned space artist David A. Hardy to produce a cover for the book, which thrilled the author. Ian said, “I’ve been a David Hardy fan for fifty years. His elegant cover captures a key moment in the story, and subtly conveys a hint of mystery and menace. You don’t watch a moon disappearing every day.”

Loophole is available as an eBook from today and in paperback from 21st August 2023.

Notes for Editors

About Ian Stewart

Ian Stewart is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has five honorary doctorates and is an honorary wizard of Unseen University. His more than 130 books include Professor Stewart’s Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities and the four-volume series The Science of Discworld with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen. His SF novels include the trilogy Wheelers, Heaven, and Oracle (with Jack Cohen), The Living Labyrinth and Rock Star (with Tim Poston), and Jack of All Trades. Short story collections are Message from Earth and Pasts, Presents, Futures. His Flatland sequel Flatterland has extensive fantasy elements. He has published 33 short stories in Analog, Omni, Interzone, and Nature, with 10 stories in Nature’s ‘Futures’ series. He was Guest of Honour at Novacon 29 in 1999 and Science Guest of Honour and Hugo Award Presenter at Worldcon 75 in Helsinki in 2017. He delivered the 1997 Christmas Lectures for BBC television. His awards include the Royal Society’s Faraday Medal, the Gold Medal of the IMA, the Zeeman Medal, the Lewis Thomas Prize, the Euler Book Prize, the Premio Internazionale Cosmos, the Chancellor’s Medal of the University of Warwick, and the Bloody Stupid Johnson Award for Innovative Uses of Mathematics.

About Loophole

Don’t poke your nose down a wormhole – you never know what you might find.

Loophole by Ian Stewart; Artwork by David A. Hardy
Artwork: David A. Hardy

Two universes joined by a wormhole pair that forms a ‘loophole’, with an icemoon orbiting through the loophole, shared between two different planetary systems in the two universes.

A civilisation with uploaded minds in virtual reality served by artificial humans.

A ravening Horde of replicating machines that kill stars.

Real humans from a decrepit system of colony worlds.

A race of hyperintelligent but somewhat vague aliens.

Who will close the loophole… who will exploit it?

Find out more at https://bit.ly/Loophole-Ian-Stewart

Cover design: David A. Hardy

Physics teacher dedicated to making science fun, even in retirement.

New novel, by retired teacher, explores biological adaptation, quantum physics and relativity, as well as friendship, family and fame, in a fun wild adventure set on both Earth and Mars and in some additional dimensions.

DARTFORD, KENT – 12 August 2022 – Elsewhen Press, an independent UK publisher specialising in Speculative Fiction, is committed to publishing outstanding books by new authors. Science fiction provides authors and readers with an opportunity to explore possibilities for other worlds while staying within the realms of what’s feasible. Recently retired physics teacher, Hugh Duncan, has used humour throughout his career to successfully encourage his pupils’ interest in science. Now he is taking the same approach to reach a wider audience with his novel, Life on Mars: The Vikings are coming.

Why did the NASA Viking missions discover no evidence of life on Mars? Was it a concerted effort to hide the truth? Who was doing the hiding? – What if it was the life on Mars itself that was determined to remain unnoticed by Earthlings?

Peter Buck, editorial director of Elsewhen Press says, “We’ve known Hugh for a long time and have always been impressed with his ability to enthuse his students. When he brought his novel to us, we were delighted to be able to publish it. Hugh has an innate ability to, literally, make fun of even the hardest concepts in science. If we described his book as an exploration of exobiology, phenotypic plasticity, quantum mechanical wave-functions, and electrostatics, it might only appeal to fans of hard science fiction. However, if we point out that the main protagonist is a teenage tortle (a Martian rock turtle) who has adapted for longevity in the harsh conditions of Mars, and that in this context ‘teenage’ means sixteen-million years of age, the tone of the story becomes a little clearer. A quantum-tunnelling worm participates in the adventure (a handy friend to have, it turns out, when you’re locked in a filing cabinet). Zombie vegetables are another hazard to be overcome (as is so often true in life). And so is a publicity-obsessed Martian artist, determined to expand his audience to Earth. The occasional intervention by the Physics Police (responsible for enforcing the Laws of Physics) just adds to the near-anarchy. The Vikings of the subtitle are the NASA probes sent to Mars in the 1970s. Finally, the truth can be told about why they failed to find evidence of life on Mars – in short, a concerted effort by much of the Martian fauna (and, indeed, some of the flora) to remain unobserved, with the help of two house martins from the South of France. Hugh’s story will appeal to those of us who were disappointed by the Viking missions’ results, along with conspiracy fans who were sure that the ‘face on Mars’ wasn’t just shadows, science fiction fans who like to extrapolate current knowledge, anyone fascinated by the scientific possibilities of life on other worlds, science students suffering with teachers who have no sense of fun, and especially young-at-heart readers (from 10 to 100+ years young) who enjoy a madcap adventure.”

World-renowned scientist John Gribbin, author of In Search of Schrodinger’s Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality, widely regarded as one of the best science writers of our time, said, “Life on Mars is fantasy on steroids. Instead of swords and magic potions, we have the ‘magic’ science of quantum physics and relativity theory, channelled through what feels like a hallucinogenic dream. My favourite character is a quantum-tunnelling worm, but the author’s fevered imagination provides us with a menagerie of almost equally bizarre creatures, on a mission to save the world – their world, that is, not ours. Suspend disbelief, strap in for the ride, and enjoy.”

The cover of the book features an image of the heroine of the story, Jade, a 16-million year old tortle. The image was created by Natascha Booth, one of Hugh’s former students now studying art at university in Dublin. The book also contains illustrations by Natascha of some of the main characters. Many of Hugh’s ex-students have already expressed their excitement at the forthcoming publication of the book, demonstrating the high regard he has engendered over his years as a teacher. Indeed some are very keen for him to come to launch the book at their current university.

Life on Mars: The Vikings are coming, is published by Elsewhen Press in eBook format today and will be available in paperback on the 12th September.

Notes for Editors

About Hugh Duncan

Hugh DuncanHugh Duncan hatched in Leicester in 1957. He studied astronomy at University College London and, though very lazy, got his degree. His final thesis was on Martian craters and, after, he worked at the UCL observatory cataloguing the Viking Mission photos.

Having fallen in love with a French woman and wanting to live happily ever after, he ruined that plan by becoming a science teacher. The temporary job became a lifelong career, first in the UK, then for 32 years at the International School of Nice, from which he has recently retired. A few years ago, UCL launched the maths journal Chalkdust, in which Hugh has had a number of articles published. In 1997, Oxford Study Courses, asked him to write revision guidebooks for IB Physics, which continues to this day.

Hugh started in science fiction aged five, when he wrote ‘Dr Who goes to the balloon planet’ and some have said it’s his best work to date. Nearly sixty years later, Life on Mars is his first published novel. Inspired by the mighty Terry Pratchett, for school charity projects Hugh started writing his own ‘Deskworld’ stories, parodying his school as one for witches and wizards. Three dozen stories sold well using a captive audience scared of getting bad grades if they didn’t buy them, hmm…

Hugh has been married for 40 years and has four children – most don’t seem to want to leave home in spite of being adults and having to listen to his songs and stories all the time. He lives in the South of France, not very far from the village with two famous house martins who appear in Life on Mars. He owns a Hermann’s tortoise called Sophie Rose.

About Life on Mars

Racing against time, Jade and her friends must hide evidence of Life on Mars to stop the probes from Earth finding them

Life on Mars cover art by Natascha Booth
Cover art: Natascha Booth

Jade is on her way to meet up with her dad, Elvis, for her sixteen-millionth birthday (tortles live a long time in spite of the harsh conditions on Mars), when she gets side-tracked by a strange object that appears to have fallen from the sky. Elvis’ travelling companion Starkwood, an electrostatic plant, is hearing voices, claiming that “The Vikings Are Coming”, while their football-pitch-sized flying friend Fionix confirms the rumour: the Earth has sent two craft to look for life on Mars.

It then becomes a race against time to hide any evidence of such life before Earth destroys it for good. Can Jade and her friends succeed, with help from a Lung Whale, a liquid horse, some flying cats, the Hellas Angels, the Pyrites and a couple of House Martins from the South of France? Oh, and a quantum-tunnelling worm – all while avoiding Zombie Vegetables and trouble with a Gravity Artist and the Physics Police?! A gentle and lightly humorous science fantasy adventure.

ISBN: 9781915304124 eBook / 9781915304025 paperback 400pp

Cover art and illustrations by: Natascha Booth

Visit bit.ly/LifeOnMars-Vikings

 

“This book moved me to tears” – Allen Stroud writes about The Janus Cycle by Tej Turner on Shepherd.com

The Janus Cycle cover image
Artwork: Alison Buck

Allen Stroud, author, academic and current chair of the BSFA, compiled a list of ‘The best contemporary fantasy and science fiction books with new takes and fresh characters’ for the Shepherd.com website. First on his list is The Janus Cycle by Tej Turner. Allen writes: “This book moved me. … the finale with an assemble moment of courage between many of the characters is such an empowering and cathartic moment… I was listening in the car and found myself in tears”

It is, of course, great news for an author that they have had such a profound effect on their readers. We’re a little concerned, though, if it moved Allen to tears while he was driving! When Tej saw Allen’s list, and his comments on The Janus Cycle, he said that to hear his book moved people is “very validating”. He went on to say: “I am very proud of [The Janus Cycle]. It put me on the map as an author and was a landmark for me on a personal level.”

You can find more about The Janus Cycle here; more about Tej here; more about Allen here; and read Allen’s booklist on Shepherd.com here.

Red Dragon facsimile edition published today

Cover image: Alison Buck
Cover image: Alison Buck

Elsewhen Press are pleased to be able to publish this facsimile of the 1999 illustrated, limited edition privately published by the author but since unobtainable.

When we published The Seven Succubi (the second story of Her Majesty’s Office of the Witchfinder General, protecting the public from the unnatural since 1645), the second book in Simon Kewin’s Witchfinder series, it referenced Dr Miriam Seacastle’s modest book Red Dragon, which was privately published by the author herself in 1999 in an illustrated, limited edition. We were keen to obtain a copy but discovered that there were no extant copies available. In his own book, Simon had mentioned that the OWG in Cardiff had a copy, so we sought permission to examine it. After much obfuscation and bureaucracy, we managed to contact the librarian directly. With a little persistence they were persuaded to allow us to peruse their copy in a secure facility. We were able to make a photographic record, which is what we have used as the basis for this facsimile edition.

We subsequently obtained permission to reproduce Red Dragon from Dr Seacastle, who expressed delight that her book would once more see the light of day, but conveyed her concern that all copies would again be seized by the OWG. We assured her that we are firmly of the opinion that this book is an invaluable collector’s item, and we will robustly resist any attempt to suppress its republication.

We also obtained the approval of the illustrator to use the original illustrations in this facsimile.

The Seven Succubi by Simon Kewin out in eBook today

Cover image: Alison Buck
Cover image: Alison Buck

The Seven Succubi by Simon Kewin, the second story of Her Majesty’s Office of the Witchfinder General, protecting the public from the unnatural since 1645, is out today in eBook and will be published in paperback on 28th March.

“Think Dirk Gently meets Good Omens!”